Following Palestinian UN bid, Israel okays construction of 3,000 new West Bank units
Israel halts Palestinian tax transfer Israel has halted the transfer of tax and tariff money it collects for the Palestinian Authority (PA) in response to their successful bid for UN non-member observer state status.
Yuval Steinitz, Israel’s finance minister, said on Sunday that the government would use the money it was to transfer to the Palestinians to pay down their debt to the Israel Electric Corporation and other Israeli bodies.
“I have no intention of transferring the taxes due to the Palestinian Authority this month,” Steinitz said.
“They will be used to pay the PA debts to the Israeli electricity company and other bodies.”
Without the transfer, the PA will not have the money to pay government salaries.
Al Jazeera’s Nicole Johnston, reporting from Ramallah, said 150,000 public service employees rely on the money.
The move is the second such act by Israel. On Friday, it announced it would press ahead with plans to build thousands of settler homes on illegally occupied territory.
Johnston said the new settlements would mean a 25km journey from Bethlehem to Ramallah would be more than quadrupled to 120km as Palestinians would be forced to circumvent the settlements.
US ‘shocked’ by new settlement plan New York Times says Israel gave United States only few hours’ notice of decision to pursue development that could prevent creation of viable, contiguous Palestinian state. ‘This is one of the most sensitive areas of territory,’ says former Ambassador Kurtzer . . . . The Americans were particularly angry at the decision to pursue “preliminary zoning and planning preparations” for a development on the segment connecting the town of Ma’aleh Adumim to Jerusalem (known as area E1) that would separate Ramallah and Bethlehem from Jerusalem and could prevent the creation of a viable, contiguous Palestinian state.
For first time, Britain, France may recall ambassadors to protest Israel’s settlement construction